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Types Of Origami Paper & How It Affects Your Folds

types of origami paper
Updated on 11/29/23

The ancient art of origami, a delicate and mesmerizing form of paper folding, has captivated the hearts and minds of countless individuals across generations.

With varied designs ranging from simple animals to intricate objects, this exquisite craft has deep roots in Chinese and Japanese culture.

But did you know that choosing the right type of origami paper can significantly impact your creations? In this guide, we will embark on a fascinating journey exploring the diversity of types of origami paper available for crafting beautiful and creative folds.

Key Takeaways

  • Origami paper comes in various types, including traditional Kami, elegant Washi, colorful Chiyogami, sturdy Tant, shiny Foil and textured and patterned paper.
  • The type of origami paper used greatly affects the final outcome of your folds in terms of color, texture and even stiffness. Consider the impact of weight and thickness when selecting your paper as well.
  • Understanding the history and evolution of origami can enhance your appreciation for this beautiful art form while exploring different types of origami papers opens up creative possibilities for beautiful designs.
  • Colors and patterns play a crucial role in evoking emotions or adding depth to an origami fold. Use varied textures such as embossed designs or raised surfaces to add dimension to models like animal fur or flower petals.

The Origins And History Of Origami Paper

The ancient art of paper folding, known as zhezhi in China, is believed to have originated there and later evolved into origami in Japan.

The Chinese Origins Of Paper Folding

Origami can be traced back to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 CE) when Cai Lun invented the first sheet of paper. This delicate craft played a significant role in Chinese culture and laid the foundation for modern origami.

One famous example from Chinese history is the traditional Joss paper folding that represents offerings made to ancestors during special occasions like weddings and festivals.

This practice involves folding gold or silver foil paper into shapes symbolic of money and wealth – believed to bring fortune and happiness when offered ceremoniously.

The Evolution Of Origami In Japan

Origami is an ancient art of paper folding that evolved in Japan over the centuries. In the 17th century, Japanese Samurai warriors practiced origami as a form of meditation.

The first recorded reference to this art form dates back to the Heian period (794-1185), where it was used for religious ceremonies and gift-giving among nobility. During the Edo period (1603-1867), origami became popular among ordinary people, and they began creating simpler designs suitable for children.

With time, advanced techniques like wet-folding were developed by master craftsmen who also created complex models such as swans, dragons, and flowers with intricate details and geometric shapes.

Today, origami continues to be a popular pastime in Japan and around the world with many artists pushing its creative boundaries beyond traditional forms into artistic expression using unique styles, materials like fabric or metal foil and even mathematically-inspired structures like modular or fractal origamis while still retaining its beauty and simplicity which makes it one of the most versatile crafts out there.

Keywords: Origami history; Paper folding; Japanese tradition; Artistic expression; Creative designs; Mathematical principles

The Modern Revival Of Origami

In the 20th century, origami became widely known and loved by people around the world. Its popularity surged due to a resurgence in paper crafting and artistic expression.

It has been used for a variety of purposes such as greeting cards, home decor, fashion accessories, and even scientific research. Math enthusiasts have also found interest in this art form since it requires precision folding and mathematical principles apply to some of its complex models.

Understanding The Different Types Of Origami Paper

the types of origami paper

There are several types of origami paper available, including traditional Kami paper, elegant Washi paper, colorful Chiyogami paper, sturdy Tant paper, shiny Foil paper, and textured and patterned paper.

Traditional Kami Paper

Traditional Kami paper is a popular type of origami paper that originated in Japan. It is typically made from high-quality, thin, and smooth white paper.

This type of paper has been used for centuries by origami practitioners due to its superior folding qualities, allowing intricate designs to be created with ease.

Its versatility allows it to hold creases well and also permits the use of different colors and patterns when painting or drawing on the surface.

Elegant Washi Paper

Elegant Washi paper is a type of origami paper made from long and thin fibers that are derived from the bark of mulberry trees. This traditional Japanese paper is known for its strength, durability, and elegant appearance.

Unlike other types of origami paper, Washi paper has a gentle texture that adds depth and character to folds and designs. Its lightweight yet sturdy composition makes it ideal for creating intricate models such as cranes, butterflies, flowers, and animals.

The softness of Washi paper allows it to retain creases easily while giving origami designs an authentic look and feel.

Colorful Chiyogami Paper

Chiyogami paper is a decorative and colorful origami paper that features intricate patterns. This type of paper originated in Japan during the Edo period, where it was used for traditional crafts like doll making and book binding.

Unlike other types of origami paper, Chiyogami is characterized by bold colors, metallic finishes, and geometric designs. Some popular motifs include flowers, birds, waves, and fans.

Because of its vibrant appearance and unique texture, Chiyogami is commonly used to make gift boxes or other ornamental objects for display purposes.

Sturdy Tant Paper

Tant paper is a type of origami paper that is known for its durability and sturdiness. It’s perfect for folding models that require a lot of handling, such as modular designs or boxes.

Tant paper comes in various colors and has a matte finish, which gives the folds a clean and sharp look. One unique feature of Tant paper is that it can hold creases very well, which makes it ideal for creating precise geometric shapes.

Origami enthusiasts often use Tant paper to create beautiful flowers, animals, and other intricate designs because of its strength and resilience. Artists who like to blend colors often prefer this type of origami paper since it’s available in many shades, making it easy to mix pastel tones or bold hues to get the desired effect while folding.

Shiny Foil Paper

Shiny Foil paper is a type of origami paper that adds an extra layer of elegance and glamour to your folds. This paper comes in various metallic finishes, such as gold, silver, and copper, and is perfect for creating unique and eye-catching designs.

Shiny Foil paper works great on models like stars or flowers where you want to add some shine and dimensionality to the final product. The reflective nature of the paper allows it to catch light at different angles producing a stunning effect.

Additionally, this paper also holds its shape well, making it ideal for complex models that require strong creases but must maintain their form.

In conclusion, shiny foil papers are a great option when looking for a different type of look than traditional or plain colored Origami papers can provide.” By adding colorful yet elegant designer pieces like Shiny Foil Paper into our origami supplies collections, we gain access to an entirely new field ripe with countless creative possibilities.” Whether you’re starting out with simple designs or pushing yourself towards more challenging creations incorporating this lustrous material will make your work stand out from others!

Tissue Origami Paper

Tissue origami paper is a versatile and fascinating type. Notably thin and delicate, it’s often used in a “tissue foil” technique, layering it with foil for extra sturdiness. Despite its thinness, it can create intricate, delicate designs and, when layered with foil, exhibits excellent strength and flexibility.

Its translucency offers unique aesthetic and color-mixing possibilities. Ideal for lifelike models like origami flowers and animals, tissue origami paper enhances the depth and fluidity of origami art, offering an ethereal touch.

Textured And Patterned Paper

Textured and patterned paper adds an extra dimension of creativity to origami designs. This type of paper has raised or embossed textures, giving a tactile quality to the finished product.

Patterned paper comes in a variety of designs, such as polka dots, stripes, and floral or geometric prints which can give your folds an added visual interest.

One popular example of textured and patterned origami paper is Washi, which has a soft yet robust texture that enables intricate folds and delicate designs. Another is Chiyogami, decorated with elaborate patterns traditionally used for kimonos in Japan – its vibrant colors make it ideal for creating complex models such as modular boxes or tessellations.

How Different Types Of Origami Paper Affect Your Folds

origami tissue paper

Different types of origami paper, such as Washi paper or Foil paper, can greatly impact the outcome of your folds in terms of color, texture, and even stiffness.

The Impact Of Color And Pattern

The color and pattern of origami paper play a crucial role in the final outcome of your folds. Choosing the right color can evoke different feelings and emotions, while using patterns can add depth and complexity to a design.

For example, using red paper for origami rose may symbolize love and passion, while green paper could represent growth and vitality. Similarly, adding patterns to your folds can create intricate details that bring your design to life.

In addition to their visual impact, colors and patterns can also affect how easy or difficult it is to fold certain designs. Some complex models require specific colors or patterns on different parts of the paper in order to achieve the desired effect.

It’s important to consider these factors when selecting origami paper for a particular project so that you get the best possible end result.

The Effect Of Weight And Thickness

The weight and thickness of your origami paper can have a significant impact on the final product. Heavier papers tend to hold their shape better, making them ideal for creating larger or more complex models.

However, they may be more challenging to work with and require more precision in folding.

For example, Tant paper is an excellent choice when working on complex origami models that require multiple folds since it has both good weight and thickness.

Understanding the effects of varying weights and thicknesses can help you choose the right paper for your desired effect while enhancing your creativity in artistic expression through creative designs using different types of paper for origami craftsmanship.

The Role Of Texture And Stiffness

The texture and stiffness of origami paper play an important role in determining the outcome of your folds. Fine-grained textures allow for sharper, more precise creases while coarser textures can create a more organic, natural look to your finished product.

The stiffness or softness of the paper also affects how well it holds its shape once folded.

For example, Tant paper is a stiff and sturdy type of origami paper that allows you to achieve crisp edges on complex folds such as boxes or modular designs. On the other hand, Washi paper has a softer texture that gives a warm feel when used to fold delicate floral designs.

Creative Techniques And Tips For Using Different Types Of Origami Paper

origami paper tips

Get creative and mix and match different types of origami paper to create unique and beautiful folds. Try layering pieces, adding metallic finishes or color gradients, and choose the right paper for the desired effect.

Mixing And Matching Papers

One of the creative techniques for using different types of origami paper is by mixing and matching papers. This involves combining paper with different textures, colors, and patterns to create unique and interesting designs.

For example, you can use shiny foil paper as an accent piece on a textured washi or chiyogami paper to add some depth to your folds.

Mixing and matching papers allows you to experiment with various combinations until you find the right one for your project. The possibilities are endless when it comes to origami paper selection! By having access to multiple types of origami papers such as Kami, Washi, Chiyogami, Tant paper, or Foil Paper – each allowing for their own set of unique properties; size/weight/thickness/color/pattern etc – depending on what type of model/design that you are looking for- gives greater control over the final product.

For more info on choosing the perfect paper size, read our guide on Origami paper sizes.

Creating 3D Effects And Layering Pieces

One of the most exciting aspects of origami is creating 3D effects and layering different pieces to make complex designs. To achieve this, you can use different types of paper with varying textures, weights, and colors to create depth and dimensionality.

For example, using metallic foil paper for certain elements can add a shiny touch that contrasts well with matte or textured papers used for other components.

You can also experiment with layering different colored papers together to create a gradient effect that adds visual interest to your design.

Adding Metallic Finishes And Color Gradients

To add some extra flair to your origami creations, consider using metallic finishes and color gradients. Metallic paper can give your folds a polished look while adding a textured effect, creating an eye-catching piece.

For example, imagine folding a dragonfly out of purple-to-blue gradient paper that shimmers in the light. Or you could create a star-shaped ornament with metallic gold paper for a festive touch.

Choosing The Right Paper For The Desired Effect

Choosing the right paper for origami is an essential consideration in achieving desired folds and designs. Factors to consider include color, weight, texture, pattern, and stiffness.

For instance, thin papers like Kami are perfect for intricate folds, while Chiyogami offers colorful patterns that add flair to your designs.

An exciting part of choosing the right paper is experimenting with various combinations to create 3D effects and layering pieces. It’s crucial to select the best quality paper for each project because it can influence the final product’s lifespan and overall appearance.


1. What are the different types of origami paper available?

Some common types of origami paper include kami, washi, chiyogami, Yuzen, and kraft. Kami is the most traditional type made from thin, lightweight paper, while washi is thicker and more textured. Chiyogami features intricate patterns, while Yuzen has a hand-painted look. Kraft is a sturdier option that can withstand creasing and folding.

2. Can I use regular printer paper for origami?

While it is possible to use regular printer paper for origami, it may not hold its shape as well or be as durable as specialty origami papers. Additionally, the size and thickness of standard printer paper may not be ideal for certain folds or designs.

3. How do I choose the right type of origami paper for my project?

Consider factors such as the complexity of your design, desired texture or pattern on your finished piece, and durability requirements when selecting an appropriate type of origami paper. Experimenting with different types can also lead to unique results and creative opportunities.

4. Is there a specific way to store my leftover sheets of origami paper?

To prevent damage to unused sheets of origami paper, it’s best to store them in a dry location away from direct sunlight and other heat sources that can cause fading or warping over time. Some people prefer using plastic sleeves or folders designed specifically for storing art materials like papers so they stay organized while protecting against damage during storage periods between projects – this can help ensure the material remains viable over extended periods!


In conclusion, the world of origami is a diverse and fascinating one. The history of paper folding dates back to ancient China and has evolved into a beautiful art form in Japan.

Understanding the different types of origami paper available can greatly enhance your folds and bring your creations to life. Color, weight, texture, and stiffness all play important roles in the final product.

With creative techniques such as mixing papers and layering pieces, you can create stunning effects that are sure to impress.

To get help with starting your paper folding journey visit our easy origami folding guides to get ideas and directions on what to fold.